Mary Richardson Kennedy, the wife of Robert F. Kennedy Jr., passed away Wednesday from asphyxiation due to hanging. Kennedy, who married JFK’s nephew in 1994, had reportedly been struggling with alcohol and drug abuse as well as psychiatric problems. The death has not officially been ruled a suicide, but sources have reported that Kennedy apparently took her own life.
Kennedy, 52, had been married to her husband, the son of Ethel Kennedy and Sen. Robert Kennedy, for roughly 16 years. The couple, who has four children, reportedly struggled with their fair share of problems until 2010, when they finally filed for divorce.
In September of 2007, the Westchester Journal News reported that Robert had attempted to drive his wife to a psychologist’s office, but she resisted, fleeing from the car into the street. A day before they filed for divorce, police had been called to the couple’s home in response to a “domestic incident” during which Mary Kennedy was supposedly intoxicated, claiming her husband had verbally abused her children. Three days later, she was charged with driving under the influence after running the family’s station wagon over a curb outside a school near their home. In August 2010, she was arrested again for driving under the influence of drugs.
According to a 2010 AP story, Kennedy family members described Mary as “kind, loving, gentle and generous.” Yesterday, they released a statement in which they stated that her “radiant and creative spirit will be sorely missed by those who loved her.”
Another prominent figure in American culture, disco queen Donna Summer, also passed away this week, after losing her battle with cancer on Thursday. Summer was a five-time Grammy winner known best for hits such as “Love to Love You Baby,” “Last Dance” and “She Works Hard for the Money.” Still making records as recently as last year, Summer died in Englewood, Florida, where she lived with her husband Bruce Sudano. She was 63 years old.